It’s not easy if you find yourself on the dating scene again after so many years; maybe you lost your partner after 40 or 50 years of marriage and miss the closeness of that other person or maybe you’re one of a growing number of people finding themselves divorced and single again.
Whatever the situation and whatever a person’s age, everyone has the right to find that someone special to share their life with but the trauma of opening up to love again can put many off the search. Feeling vulnerable is never a pleasant position to be in but with a bit of work it’s possible to get back to dating again – and who knows you might enjoy every minute of it in the process. Here are some tips to help:
1. Being too guarded with your heart never works
It’s easy to understand why people put up barriers especially if they experience heartache. This often leads to attempts to avoid these situations in future in order to protect themselves. This can be the biggest mistake they make.
What often happens is that people settle for a relationship in which they believe the other person is more in love with them they are with that other person. By settling for second best they believe they’re protected against having their heart broken. When the partner later leaves it comes as a huge shock. The fact is that they’ve never been fully immersed in the relationship, how could they be? This wasn’t the partner of their dreams.
The key lesson here is not to make decisions out of fear. Find your soul mate and love openly with all your heart – but most importantly, start with loving and caring for yourself. Free yourself of past baggage too and over time you’ll notice that others respond positively. What if a partner still decides to leave you? Then there’ll be plenty of others who’d welcome having someone open and respectful of themselves as well as others. Trust in yourself, trust the process and don’t force the outcome.
2. It all starts with your beliefs
If you go into a relationship thinking ‘No doubt I’ll end up getting hurt again but I’ll give it a try’ then there’s little wonder that that it turns out to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. This is the underpinning message from the last point.
You have to let go of your fixation with rejection. OK so the partner you’re with might think you’re not the right person for them, so what? This is all about being the wrong fit for each other rather than rejecting you as an individual. After all you don’t want to be someone else’s second best either. Instead of refusing to go on new dates or thinking that there’s something wrong with you, get straight out there and have fun. Drop the endless over-evaluation of the situation and start looking again; your soul mate is out there – just be patient.
3. Give each date a chance
Don’t go on a date with any pre-conceptions about that person but instead see them for who they are; avoid bringing along all the baggage from previous dates and relationships too. If you don’t then you can expect history to repeat itself. No one wants someone who comes across as needy, desperate or with a chip on their shoulder.
It’s not very thoughtful to the other person’s feeling for a start if you bring up old wounds or insecurities whilst on the date. Just because someone has cheated on you in the past doesn’t mean every person you date in future will treat you the same way. You owe it to them to keep an open mind and accept them as they are not the way you think they’ll treat you. It’s important not to label or judge others, regardless of what you’ve heard about them or your initial perception.
4. Be in love – but retain your individuality
Love is a powerful feeling and it’s easy to get swept away by the relationship. However that person should not be your whole life. Whilst it’s good to have closeness and intimacy, to have a healthy relationship you both need your own interests. It keeps the relationship alive; your sense of self-worth should only come from one person too – and that person is you.
5. Live with hope, life and love in your heart
When you embark on the dating scene, go into it with a positive frame of mind. Know whatever barriers you face you can overcome. If things don’t work out with someone, grieve and get it out of your system (don’t store things up inside), and then get back out there and live life to the full, sharing it with others along the way. Stay open and be willing to trust that your soul mate is out there – with any luck your paths will coincide very soon.